Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año thanked the public for being the second-best performing cabinet member, garnering an approval score of 68% according to a survey conducted in the National Capital Region (NCR) released this month.

Año was second only to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Jr. who received a 70% approval rating among all Cabinet members. The survey was conducted from July 3 to 10, 2021 with 3,500 respondents from the NCR who were asked to rate the job performance of cabinet officials.

According to the DILG Secretary, the high approval rating is a testament to the hard work and numerous accomplishments the Department was able to accomplish during his leadership as the DILG Chief.

“This is really because of Team DILG. I must commend all the members of the DILG family for their efforts in always delivering nothing short but excellent service to our people. This seal of approval from our constituents is as much your award as it is mine,” he said.

“Maaasahan ninyo po na tuloy-tuloy lamang ang matino, mahusay at maaasahang serbisyo publiko mula rito sa amin sa DILG,” he added.

Conducted by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation, the survey found that only 21% of the respondents showed disapproval towards Año, while 11% were undecided.

DILG accomplishments

During the Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Virtual Presser with the Security, Justice and Peace Cluster held on July 21, Año shared to the public some of the major accomplishments the DILG had attained during the Duterte administration.

About the government’s COVID-19 response, he said that the Department has continually guided local government units (LGUs) in ensuring that the policies and directives of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) are being complied with amid the pandemic.

He also said that over 50,880 contact tracers were hired by the DILG last year, leading to 1,996,335 close contacts successfully traced and assessed.

As for security, he shared that as per the Gallup 2020 Global Law and Order Report, eight out of 10 Filipinos believe that they are safe and secure in the country. He further highlighted the consistent downtrend in the number of index crimes committed in the country, such as murder, rape, and homicide.

In terms of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, P59.14-billion worth of illegal drugs have been confiscated from drug syndicates as of May 2021.

He said that as of April 2021, 289,622 drug peddlers and syndicates have also been arrested due to the aggressive operations conducted by various law enforcement groups, including 12,069 who were considered high-value targets.

2021 second semester priorities

For the remaining months of 2021, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya said that the government’s COVID-19 response remains the Department’s top priority.

“Ang pangunahing prayoridad pa rin natin sa ikalawang bahagi ng taon ay ang pagpigil sa paglaganap ng COVID-19. Rest assured, tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ang efforts ng national government at ng mga LGUs sa pagpapabakuna sa ating taumbayan,” he said.

He said that the DILG would continue assisting and facilitating the fast-tracking of the vaccination roll-out in LGUs, as well as monitor their performance in containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in communities.

Malaya said that the second half of the year would also see the roll-out of policy on LGUs’ Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs) for the implementation of the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on Mandanas-Garcia petitions, which would help LGUs in their transition as they take on devolved functions from national government agencies (NGAs) in 2022.

The DILG Spox mentioned that an extensive communication and advocacy campaign on the Mandanas SC ruling would also be carried out in the second semester of 2021.

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